Social Media and Simplicity, Part 10: The One
Muhammad Saleem is a social media consultant and a top-ranked community member on multiple social news sites.
This post is the final part in our groundbreaking series on how freelancers can use social media and the principles of simplicity to build their businesses.
Day 10 – The 10th Law of Simplicity: The One
Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.
This entire series has been about extending your existing life as any kind of freelancer or even a full-time web worker and adding a social media perspective to it without being a victim of information overload. In achieving this goal, this series consists of two distinct kinds of of posts. The first is the immediately actionable advice and the second is more holistic.
[View this image from Read Write Web to get a visual overview of what I've been talking about.]
So many new services are launched everyday that you can hardly keep up with all of them without completely losing sight of your actual goals. At the same time, it is hard to ignore these services and not feel as if you’re out of the loop and not using the web to its fullest potential. To the untrained eye, it seems that our options are limited, but as we have shown, by following a few simple rules, you can be successful and largely free of complexity in 10 days (or even less).
For sake of simplicity, let’s recap:
Day 1 – Reduce. The first step is to reduce the niches/mediums that you participate in, reduce the sites within each nice that you participate in, and to reduce your scope by increasing your focus.
Day 2 – Organize. If you can organize everything you do on the basis of the purpose of the act and prioritize your actions based on the relative importance of each you can accomplish more by doing less.
Day 3 – Time. Time is of the essence and time is money. Rather than always feeling that you’re out of time and worrying about it rather than getting work done, understand and embrace the time you have. As always, don’t forget that even though it may not seem like it, sometimes it’s best to step away and take some downtime.
Day 4: Learn. Things seem complicated and out of control the less you understand them. No one knows everything, no one can know everything, and no one needs to know everything. That said, do accept that there are things that you need to learn, there are right and wrong ways to learn them, and that every minute you spend learning today will translate to hours you will save in the future.
Day 5 – Differences. Simply being a part of the conversation and using the tools is not enough. How you participate is just as important. Stand out and make your efforts count by marketing the differences between yourself and your competition as well as understanding the differences between your core audience and your potential audience.
Day 6 – Context. As a part of your learning process from day 4, learn to create context for whatever you do. An apple without context is just a fruit, but an apple in context can mean the difference between the discovery of gravity and the Forbidden Fruit. Just as you create context for your audience, create context for the services you use to ensure that you’re prioritizing and not wasting time on the unnecessary.
Day 7 – Emotion. If you think you’re missing the secret sauce, chances are that you’re not showing enough skin — emotional skin that is. Not everyone has to like what you have to say. Not even most people have to like what you say. If you can get enough people to love you and/or hate you enough to be interested in what you have to say and respond to it, you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
Day 8 – Trust. No freelancer or webworker is an island unto themselves. In this international and boundless community, trust is a vital and precious resource. Learn to trust yourself so others will trust you, but also learn to trust the larger community and the system you operate in.
Day 9 – Failure. As you go through this entire process, remember that failure is an essential part of the learning process and the path to success. Accept that failure is OK, that some amount of failure is just the cost of doing business, and in fact, if you see it as I see it, failure is not a step backwards or time wasted, instead, it is a step forward and a lesson in what works and what doesn’t.
Day 10 – The One. Reading this once isn’t enough. Even reading this many times isn’t enough. This is my process. While this will be applicable to a substantial majority (with or without modifications), the “rules” may vary from individual to individual, in which case you shouldn’t hesitate to rewrite the book.
Finally, while their application is completely different, the basis of these “rules/laws” have been adapted from Maeda’s book, The Laws of Simplicity. I would recommend picking up a copy to apply the principles of simplicity to the rest of your life!
For simplifying the rest of your life, check out John Maeda’s Blog.